Dr. Quinn – The People’s Doctor

“I caused my husband to not want me anymore.”

As a family practice physician, I fulfill many roles for my patients. Perceived traditional medicine includes coughs, colds, and chronic illnesses including hypertension and diabetes. My reality of practicing family medicine in my home state of Mississippi with a majority African American patient roster includes treating many conditions and problems outside the normal routine idea of what a family physician experiences. I happily welcome the opportunity to step outside the normal protocols of family medicine because my thirteen years of practicing medicine have taught me that treating the entire person results in better care and a higher quality of life for my patients.

As previously stated, most of my patients are African American, a research proven population that is less likely to visit a therapist or psychiatrist. We African Americans are in many cases more comfortable talking with our primary care physician or pastor about psychosocial issues than a therapist for many re-search studied reasons.

Miss Jones forced me to put on my therapist hat this past spring. During a visit as I informed her that her blood pressure and diabetes had become uncontrolled, and started making suggestions for changes in her medication and lifestyle, she started to cry. She told me of how her marriage was failing and why she blamed herself. With tears in her eyes, she expressed how she wished she could have been more aware of how she changed. Miss Jones looked me directly into the eyes, and said, “I caused my husband to not want me anymore.”

I asked my patient to elaborate, and Miss Jones started out by describing how wonderful things were in the beginning. She told of how romantic things were while dating in college eight years ago. She described it as a storybook classical love story between two young adults resulting in marriage and one child. She then told of how she ended up in law school, and he ended up in pharmaceutical sales. While in law school with a very demanding schedule, Miss Jones noted that she made sure that she prepared breakfast and dinner for her husband daily. She continued this tradition even while pregnant and as a new mother with a demanding infant. In addition to meals, she took pride in maintaining a supportive wife mentality, always encouraging her husband, constantly elevating him.

Miss Jones shared that the dynamics of the relationship changed approximately four years ago. The two main precipitating events that she felt were the greatest influence was her graduating from law school at the top of her class receiving a six-figure job with a top law practice, and her husband losing his job in pharmaceutical sales with many minimal paying jobs since.

She talked of how she would have to work long hours with the law practice, and had to leave her husband early in the morning to report to the law firm. She cringed as she spoke of how she remembered him sleeping at times when he was in between his low paying jobs. She spoke of how the meals, the affection, the support and the encouragement she took pride in reversed due to re-sentment.

Miss Jones told me that she has recently learned of her husband’s one year affair. Miss Jones described the mistress as severely unattractive, uneducated, and not a fraction of the lady she is. After hearing all that, Miss Jones had shared to this point, I advised her to return with her mother (another of my patients) the following week.

I would be very interested in thoughts or comments emailed to the editor about this article, and we hope we have caused conversation and thought to better our readers.

For more on Dr. Quinn’s campaign, visit and like his Facebook page, Dr. Timothy Quinn.